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Estimating Real Production and Expenditures across Nations: A Proposal for Improving the Penn World Tables

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  • Robert C. Feenstra

    (University of California, Davis, and NBER)

  • Alan Heston

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Marcel P. Timmer

    (University of Groningen)

  • Haiyan Deng

    (Conference Board, New York)

Abstract

We propose a new approach to the international comparison of real GDP, as measured from the output-side. The traditional Gary-Khamis system, which measures real GDP from the expenditure-side, is modified to include differences in the terms of trade between countries. It is shown that this system has a strictly positive solution under mild assumptions. On the basis of a sample of 151 countries in 1996, it is shown that differences between real GDP measured from the expenditure-side and output-side can be substantial, especially for small open economies. We also obtain cross-country measures of "real openness" and the terms of trade. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 91 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 201-212

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:91:y:2009:i:1:p:201-212

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  1. W. Erwin Diewert, 1999. "Axiomatic and Economic Approaches to International Comparisons," NBER Chapters, in: International and Interarea Comparisons of Income, Output, and Prices, pages 13-107 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron & Ventura, Jaume, 2001. "The World Income Distribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 2973, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Comparing Apples to Oranges: Productivity Convergence and Measurement across Industries and Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1216-38, December.
  4. Yo Chul Choi & David Hummels & Chong Xiang, 2006. "Explaining Import Variety and Quality: The Role of the Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 12531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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